Statement from Roger Hirst, Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner following sanction hearing of DCC Matthew Horne
Roger Hirst, the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex, said:
“The vast majority of Essex Police officers and staff behave with exceptional professionalism. It is important that if an issue or complaint is raised in relation to any police officer, regardless of their seniority or rank, that those issues are fully investigated.
“Following the finding of misconduct by the independent panel in the case of DCC Matthew Horne, I was surprised that their recommendation for management advice was not then followed by the Chief Constable and that he imposed a lesser sanction. I have spoken at length with the Chief Constable in order to understand the rationale for his decision. I have scrutinised the independent panel report, the legal advice and the Chief Constable’s own decision report. I have also discussed with him what lessons can be learnt for the future.
“I have satisfied myself that due process was followed in this case and that all matters were dealt with lawfully. However, I believe that in such cases, the final sanction decision should sit with the independent panel and not with a Chief Constable. This would more clearly demonstrate independence. I am therefore pleased that the Home Office will shortly be consulting on new police regulations that will, amongst other things, give independent panels the power to make decisions on misconduct and also to determine sanctions. I believe this will be a positive development for public confidence in policing.
“The Chief Constable and I will continue to work together to ensure that lessons are learnt from this case to help deliver improvements moving forward.”
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